Correcting the Media's 10 Biggest Misconceptions About the NFL and Its Players
The NFL drives its own division of the media. The intensity of the reporting is bound to lead to many misconceptions that take on a life of their own.
Outside of general CNN-type news, the league is likely responsible for more coverage than any other entity.
"Experts" give them a starting point by saying something dumb. Then, another analyst furthers the topic along with a twist of their own.
The false diatribe becomes more and more ingrained in the public's mind until perception replaces reality.
This article is here to set the record straight.
The Word Valuable Means Outstanding
Webster has confirmed that the definition of valuable does not include the word outstanding. They are similar in many respects but ultimately different.
Therefore, the Most Valuable Player award is routinely handed out to the wrong person.
Aaron Rodgers was phenomenal in 2012 with 45 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He still was not the most valuable player in the league.
Matt Flynn stepped into the starting role for the last game of the regular season and promptly lit up the Detroit Lions. He torched the secondary to the tune of 520 yards and five touchdowns.
So how could Rodgers be the most valuable player when his backup could have steered the team to the playoffs?
Does anyone think that Chase Daniels could have done the same for the New Orleans Saints? Of course not.
Rodgers is a victim of circumstance. The Green Bay Packers have a good general manager who knows how to build a team.
However, that does not change the facts.
The Detroit Lions Are the New Bad Boys
The Detroit Lions have been under siege lately.
Between Nick Fairley, Mikel Lashoure and Johnny Culbreath, the Lions have been making headlines all across the nation for breaking laws instead of tackles.
Sure, they play with an edge.
But so did the Baltimore Ravens, and they're remembered as champions.
The Lions are obviously not there yet. That does not mean that their stories of goodwill should be buried under the arrests.
As always, there's more to the story than what is reported. And there's more to this team than a few "bad guys."
Chad Ochocinco Is Only About Himself
Chad Ochocinco had a rough year. He only had 15 catches for 276 yards and one touchdown.
Not to mention, he was the subject of ridicule in one of the toughest markets in the country.
He still got to play in a Super Bowl, so no one should feel sorry for him.
The media loves to fixate on his antics when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. He made a splash by dancing after touchdowns and making a scene.
That might might not be the story the old timers like. However, nobody has heard he's a bad teammate.
Additionally, his fans adore him.
If you have not read those stores, you should.
The NFL Is in Trouble
There's a public belief that football is in trouble. So much so that the NFL will cease to exist in a few decades.
This will not come to pass.
Football runs the entire country. What other sport gets millions of people up before noon on a Sunday to tinker with their fantasy lineups?
The NFL is more popular than "The Star-Spangled Banner" with few real signs of regression.
The league is not going anywhere.
Tim Tebow Could Have Saved Football in Jacksonville
When the Denver Broncos put Tim Tebow on the trading block, plenty of people felt the Jacksonville Jaguars should make a play for him.
Not necessarily because they thought he could win games, but that he would generate enough revenue to keep the Jags in Florida.
This may have been true temporarily. However, the Tebow effect would have waned unless he dramatically shifted his game.
The NFL adapts too quickly to quirky offenses. Throwing in the wildcat to change things up only works well when done sparingly.
Tebow was not built to be a pocket passer. Therefore, he would not have been able to win continuously.
Jacksonville is wild about the Florida State Seminoles. Without a contending team, the Jaguars are going to be in trouble regardless of Tebow's presence.
NFL Players Must Be Role Models
Sportswriters and talking heads love to pile on the NFL players who earn a DUI. Rightfully so in many respects, but blasting them as role models is an entirely different monster.
Professional sports players can certainly set a positive example for children. That's not the argument.
The issue is expecting them to do so.
These men are modern-day gladiators. They are mercenaries who are paid to entertain the public.
Do you believe Spartacus was looked to in such a manner?
That job falls on the parents, grandparents or whoever is raising the kids—not a superstar athlete.
NFL Fans Need to Get a Life
Twitter has exposed players and sportswriters to the tenacity of NFL fans. And they do not appear to be overly pleased.
Occasionally, you will come across a comment that insinuates the fans need to get a life.
What appears annoying is actually the lifeblood of the league.
NFL fans are rabid. They consume every morsel of information that they can extract from mundane events like organized team activities.
That vigor for all things football not only sustains both careers but has transformed them into lucrative full-time gigs.
Gone are the days when a player needed to sell insurance in the offseason. So too is the necessity for a writer to cover another sport.
Perhaps, both parties would be better off ignoring the fans than engaging them in such a manner.
The Feature Back Is an Ancient Relic
The feature back is not in as poor of health as others would have you believe.
The continued evolution of the passing game has certainly diminished the role of the running game.
Three quarterbacks going for over 5,000 yards in 2012 is incontrovertible evidence of this.
However, the prevailing notion that teams are hesitant to employ a feature back when they can use a committee is filled with flaws.
It would make little sense to rely on mediocrity. A team is not going to lower the value of their carries by diverting them from a stellar running back.
Additionally, the rushing numbers are lower because the role is slightly different now. A No. 1 back spends as much time catching passes as he does taking handoffs.
Quite frankly, the NFL is about winning. The key to victories is to have your best players make key plays.
So if the running back is the most talented player on the team, what coach is not going to feed him the ball?
Fighting at Practice Is Bad for the Team
Much has been made of Titus Young's recent punch of Louis Delmas. If he did sucker punch him, that's cowardly.
But it's not necessarily indicative of something more treacherous.
The media's job is essentially to blow things out of proportion. That does not mean that fights in locker rooms and practice fields are indicative of anything.
In many respects, a team is much like a family. How many of you have physically fought with your brother or sister?
It's nothing more than a momentary spat.
The only thing that matters is how a teammate would react to an outsider committing the same act against one of their own.
Chris Johnson Is Washed Up
Chris Johnson thrust himself back into the news cycle by declaring that he's still the best back in the league.
He may not be wrong.
Johnson exceeded 2,000 yards in his second year. Apparently, that seems so long ago that the media has decided that he can no longer do it.
He's 26, not 29. He's much too young to start believing that his time has passed.
Perhaps, it was a lack of focus because physical skills rarely deteriorate within the first four years.
Whatever the cause, now is not the time to write him off.